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The Tri-City Americans completed rookie camp Sunday, and with it another chapter in the Todd Klassen Memorial Classic.
This year's edition of the game - which honors the former Americans captain who died tragically in a car accident in 1993 - was a tale of two halves as the Blue team erased a 4-1 deficit and defeated the White 5-4 in overtime.
Paycen Bjorklund (2015, 2nd round pick) scored to complete the comeback during the 3-on-3 extra period. Brett Leason (2014, 3rd round) had two goals for Team Blue, including the tying goal on a power play midway through the third. Leason seemed to get better as camp scrimmages went on and showed Sunday why club staff is confident in the player they signed to a contract in July.
The comeback began when Jack Barnes (2015 5th round) scored unassisted with three minutes left in the second. Barnes, son of Americans legend and co-owner Stu Barnes, had a fine camp and proved his selection in this season's bantam draft was warranted. The Tri-City Herald's Annie Fowler wrote a fine story in Sunday's edition about Barnes making a name for himself at camp.
Turning heads all weekend was 2014 first-round bantam pick Michael Rasmussen. Rasmussen did not participate in Sunday's classic but made his presence known during the camp. The forward routinely weaved through opposing players with ease and found his way onto the scoresheet in every scrimmage. Rasmussen played in a handful of games for the Americans near the end of last season and should be an exciting addition to this year's squad.
Korbyn Chabot had three assists for Team White and got an invite to stay for main camp. Chabot (2014, 9th round) stood out during rookie camp showing ability with the puck and a desire to use the body. Watch for Chabot to make a run at a roster spot in the coming weeks.
With rookie camp finished, focus turns to three days of main camp before the preseason begins Friday.
Eighteen players from rookie camp were asked to stick around for main camp. Of the 18 only goaltender Beck Warm, along with defenseman Dakota Krebs and Mason Martin were not selected by the team in previous bantam drafts.
The Americans have four overage players attending camp: defenseman Tyler Morrison, forwards Parker Bowles, Beau McCue, Brian Williams. Only three will remain on the roster after the mid-October deadline for teams to trim down to three overage players. It's anybody's guess who GM Bob Tory will move in this situation, but luckily he has roughly six weeks to make a decision.
Main camp runs through Wednesday and the club will trim down the roster for this weekend's preseason tournament in Everett. Tri-City will face Seattle on Friday, Portland on Saturday and Victoria on Sunday. All three games will be at 11:30 a.m.
Other notes out of Kennewick: Last week the club unveiled new uniforms for the upcoming season. The logos are unchanged, but the striping design has an improved look. The design was inspired by the NHL's Columbus Blue Jackets...Former captain Justin Hamonic's ECHL rights were acquired by the Fort Wayne Komets. Hamonic played in four ECHL games last season with the Alaska Aces, who traded his rights to Fort Wayne for future considerations. Hamonic recently signed a contract with the AHL's San Antonio Rampage for the upcoming season...Goaltender Evan Sarthou was among 42 players selected to compete in the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects game in Buffalo on September 24. Sarthou was the only WHL player selected for the event. He will return from the game in time for Tri-City's September 26 season opener at Spokane.